The scientific materialism of modernity has castrated our comprehension of Nature by casting out its psyche and soul from our rational mind’s eye – the single vision and Newton’s sleep William Blake warned us of. In abstracting ‘things’ from their lived-in context, our narrowed-down materialistic perspective of the world de-natures Nature in to nothing more than a collection of objects to be manipulated by us for us. Materialism extracts spirit from Nature and in the process drains the life-blood from reality and our own sense of self within Nature so that we sever our connection with deeper Nature. As a result our individual psyches and collective psyche get out-of-kilter and dis-eased causing us profound suffering and anxiety which then fuels a lusting, wanting, owning, consuming mentality. To re-sacralise Nature in our mind’s eye is, therefore, the most fundamental of all actions for our present day activist to embark upon. It gets to the root of the mother of all problems and emancipates us from the imprisonment of our own making; with this re-sacralisation we breakthrough the walls of this illusion. Gone with the illusion is our carcinogenic way.
The dominant worldview of the world and universe as purposeless and devoid of consciousness is the same materialistic worldview that pervades our media, arts, philosophy, education, science and economics. It is a mechanistic logic that sets us apart from each other and Nature; it pits us against each other where Nature is viewed as a ‘war of all against all’. It creates a carcinogenic way of attending and an evolutionary path of selfish ascendency where the cancer sets about destroy its host and then winds up killing itself. It is not in the least wise. The founders of Western philosophy respected the innate wisdom of life beyond the confines of any illusory sense of separation, yet over time we have tended towards egotism and materialism, debasing ourselves and demeaning Nature.
Time is no longer on our side. It’s time for humanity to live up to its name of wise beings and recognise the insanity of our own mindset. It’s time to move beyond a self-absorbed and parasitic logic fuelling the rush hour of our insanity.
When do we find the space and time in our busy lives to ask the real questions about ‘why are we here’, ‘what is life’, ‘where do we go from here’, ‘what is true love’. How often in our daily escapades do we notice the immense awesome beauty of life?
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, what would we do if the stars only came out once every thousand years? No one would sleep that night, and we would get religious quick. Instead they come out every night and we watch TV. The whole way of thought and conduct within our Western way of life is being called into question as it is no longer fit for purpose for the times we find ourselves in. Out of the transformative fires ahead of us a phoenix of new consciousness will rise, a consciousness that will quicken us into listening, awakening, sensing and attuning with the sacred beauty and Truth of Nature’s wisdom within and all around us. This is what these transformational times demand of us – to activate the infinite potential of the seemingly super-natural, paranormal all-pervasiveness of Nature’s wisdom.
As Einstein remarked, today’s paranormal is tomorrow’s normal. To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here For a complete podcast series on this shift in paradigm see here bit.ly/1Gj31TL
Either first- or second-hand we know of the power of authentic small-group discussion. Yet how often do we give ourselves the space and time to allow for this in our hectic schedules.
In our relentless striving to do more we rush passed the treasure in our midst.
And so it was with a great sigh of relief that I spent a lovely morning with employees of Andrew Thornton’s Budgens honouring the simple sacredness of authentic small-group discussion in a time-honoured practice of Way of Council.
The ancient indigenous Way of Council allows for groups to open up to the wisdom of the heart through a communal atmosphere of sharing, non-judgement and acceptance. In Council, people sit in a circle and commit to being fully present; really listening to each other from the heart, free from distractions, judgements, opinion forming or preparation of response. And as a result of this humane discussion, empathy, honesty, commitment and trust form – qualities we all-too-seldom find in business these days, sadly.
By opening up to ourselves and others with loving kindness and attention, we allow the shadows within us all that isolate, alienate and degrade our sociality – such as preconceived judgements, projections and anxieties – to see the light of day.
At Friends House one bright, frosty winter’s morning I witnessed a dozen staff from Thornton’s Budgens transcend diverse cultural differences to find the commonality within humanity. This gives me hope for an increasingly challenging future ahead for us all.
Much business behaviour today, as well as our prevalent way of living, is corrupted by our general distracted and dis-eased attention. We find ourselves losing touch with our innate capacity to rest in our own natural awareness, to be sensitive to the subtle perturbations of the heart, and so to empathise and meaningfully relate.
The simple, yet profound activity of people coming together in a conscious and authentic way allows for a healing in the fractured busi-ness of today’s hedonic mania. It is in these sacred openings that we find our global yet local humanity; our differing tunes within the universal Dance of Life.
Simple activities of giving the other person our undivided attention as we listen deeply to them; listening without interruption; speaking without fear of interruption or judgement: How often do we practice these humane behaviours in today’s world?
And so what Andrew Thornton and Jim (the Store Manager) did that bright, frosty winter’s morning was to allow the light of hope to shine, and in-so-doing gaining a more committed, loyal, responsive team of employees. My wish is that Thornton’s Heart-In-Business programme reaches many more organisations, as for sure they will benefit in profound ways.
Giles Hutchins is a speaker, adviser and author on the new business paradigm inspired by and in harmony with Nature.
Having spent many years advising a variety of public, private and third sector organisations on business transformation and latterly sustainability, I embarked on a life transition directed by my love of Nature and the call of my heart.
Recently I was interviewed by www.conscious.tv about my life and my books, the interview can be watched here, and this article is a summary of some of the aspects of my life journey thus far. For as long as I can recall, I have been in love with Nature. My teenage years laid witness to my fury upon finding out the crimes we consciously and unconsciously commit against Nature, whether it be factory farming or widespread desecration to make way for anthropocentric ‘progress’. I have long recognised that such crimes inflict, and are inflicted by, inner psychological wounds at collective and personal levels.
As I grew older I was waking up to the realisation that our hubristic sense of domination over Nature was at the root of this widespread deep psychic suffering, leading to all sorts of downstream effects: fear, anxiety, depression, dis-ease, egotism, individualism, consumerism. A vicious cycle ensues of separateness, control, domination, degradation, violence, fear, suppression, more violence and more individualism. I was committed to finding out how the world works and why we humans seem to be destroying life rather than living in harmony within its immense awe-inspiring beauty.
For a variety of reasons, I found myself in business and vowed to understand how this ‘system’ worked. Many years at KPMG as a management consultant and then latterly as Global Director of Sustainability for Atos provided an excellent foundation in how business transformation, organisational management and leadership, capitalist value-creation and corporate life operate.
Yet by around 2006, I was struggling to hold-down my supressed views on how insane our worldview seems to me. I was struggling to find anything of value within the business worldview that adequately dealt with our anti-life approach, but met many inspirational people in business and beyond who also shared my love of life.
I signed up to some yoga classes mainly as a way to try and gain a balance from my hectic work-hard-play-hard life style. It was fortuitous that the nearest classes to me happened to be Tara Yoga, a small intimate class within a larger Tantra school which provided hand-outs to read after each class as well as discussions about consciousness and awareness in everyday life, meditation, breathing, colour therapy, mantras, etc. I purchased some yoga Nidra CDs that had a profound effect on me – essentially a lying down meditation where you focus on different parts of the body and then visualise things while the CD narrative guides you. Doing this after a yoga practice took me into deeper consciousness while still very much awake and so I could start to really sense and cognise what was going on in a lucid way. None of it felt strange, all of it made sense and it felt like coming home. It was as if I was always waiting for this and now my life was finally starting to open up to it all. Yet I saw no way of assimilating this into my busy corporate life.
I recall walking along a pier one day and having what could be called an epiphany or ‘glimpse’, when I sensed clearly that all I had to do was live life with love, yet my ego-awareness soon counter-acted this ‘non-sense’ with the sobering reality of every day competitive struggle.
Then came one too many David Attenborough programmes. I remember that Sunday evening well, when I cried aloud, tears streaming down my face, as I opened up to all the pain I had suppressed over the years at all we were doing to life. At that moment I vowed to begin and follow my inner calling, no more watching, the time had come to dive in with both feet and dedicate my life to ‘life’. I just began, putting one foot in front of the other, each and every day, starting to voice my feelings and begin the arduous task of allowing my inner and outer worlds to attune.
In the months ahead, I read avidly, mainly about sustainability, and met with many leading thinkers and organisations at the vanguard of sustainable business. In 2008 I set up a Sustainability offering for Atos UK and then in 2010 I became Global Head of Sustainability for Atos International – with 80,000 employees it was a large IT services provider and soon became the first global IT services organisation to achieve GRI A+ ranking. Around that time I co-founded Biomimicry for Creative Innovation, a collaborative of specialists applying ecological thinking for business transformation. I started to write articles for The Guardian on business inspired by Nature and was approached by a publisher to write a book – The Nature of Business.
I had another ‘peak experience’ (or ‘glimpse’ as for me it is a ‘thinning of the veil’ whereupon we see reality in its deeper, truer nature, which is always here, glimpsed when our ego-awareness permeates with a deeper natural, soulful, ecological awareness). I vividly sensed that the path ahead was simply living with love – everything to be done with complete truth and love, no inauthenticity, everything from the heart. Yet once again, within moments of this clear realisation, the ego-head recognition that I would not get very far in my work life with such an attitude snapped me out of it.
Soon after, I was in Amsterdam on business and had a vision of Jesus Christ, once again, my ego-fear kicked-in and also a lack of self-love as I felt ashamed to look directly at the vision, I felt neither ready nor worthy to look Jesus in the eyes as knew in my heart I had made only superficial ground, internally and externally, the deeper work was yet to come. Getting the global sustainability role was a big break for me as it enabled me to move out of London to Devon to be more immersed in Nature.
In Devon, my daily meditations and yoga were supplemented with sitting against trees I got to know intimately. I learnt a Druidic tree meditation and healing practice which I practiced daily with the trees. I also started writing short articles while sitting next to trees, blogs for my personal website and global networks such as GSB, CSRWire, TriplePundit, 2Degrees.
The biggest step for me was handing in my notice from corporate life in 2012 with no job to go to, just unchartered waters stretching out ahead. Well a slight fib – initially I had lined-up a fully funded PhD at Exeter University on Biomimicry for Business, which would give me a steady income, an office a business card and title – my safety blankets post corporate life. But I realised I was still going to feel imprisoned by the PhD and needed to go deeper in my thinking beyond mere extrapolations of Nature’s processes and patterns into a deeper Nature immersion of the wisdom that lies within and beyond these patterns and processes which, for me, alluded to a systemic paradigm shift in business and beyond.
Leaving corporate life and also declining a paid research position at Exeter Uni was all contrary to my conditioning of security, career, status, financial income, etc. and, while my earnings have been pathetic in comparison since, it is with no regrets. I gave myself the vital space and time to deepen my inner psychic connection to Nature and also to recover from years of shell-shocking global travel, stress, burning the candle at both ends, etc. I underwent something of a metamorphosis from 2012 to 2014, gradually healing while letting go of old mentalities, going through a ‘dark night of the soul’, embracing the unconscious depths of my imaginal realm and making friends once again with the stillness within and all around.
It was through my daily embracement of Nature that my imagination and childlike wonder returned to me. During this time, I embarked on my second book, The Illusion of Separation. Soon I started to feel more alive once again. Yet I have come to realise my metamorphosis is more like a continuous transformational process, spiralling twists and turns, not a one-off job. Synchronistically, my first book was published a fortnight before our first baby was born, and exactly the same happened for my second book and baby, allowing me to ensure smooth publication and then focus on being the birthing partner (both our children were natural water births at home for which I can take no credit, my wife did all the hard work, I just held the sacred space as best I could.)
Hazel’s conception (9 months before) I remember clearly, as I felt as if a deeper presence had opened up and an energetic spark entered – at the time I said to my wife that if this moment leads to conception it will be amazing as I actually felt the presence of something within a deeper imaginal realm. It was her conception. Things like this buoy my faith in the deeper reality beyond.
There is no longer any three year plan ahead of me like I always used to have; this part of my life is unmapped and I let go with faith and trust in the unfolding. My heart is my compass.
Perhaps the biggest catalysts in my life have been my relationships with my children and wife. It is the intimacy of my relations with my wife and kids that provides the greatest tests and opportunities for me to let go of constricting, narrowing-down perspectives based on control and fear while opening up to a deeper compassion for myself and others, and a deeper courage to reach beyond habituated patterns that hold me back from fully loving. This journey of the heart has asked me to face my inner demons on numerous occasions – sometimes daily. My busy mind often plagues me with thoughts that life would be far easier if I was ignorant of the pain and love I have for life or if I just followed the money. Yet, in truth, there is no real doubt that the path I am on is the only viable one.
Brief Bio – Giles Hutchins applies twenty years business experience to the emergence of a new paradigm. Formerly a management consultant for KPMG, more recently Global Sustainability Director for Atos International, co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation, ambassador for Embercombe, adviser for Akasha Innovation, he speaks and writes about the transformation to new ways of operating inspired by and in harmony with Nature.
His first book, The Nature of Business, received much praise on both sides of the Atlantic. His second book, The Illusion of Separation ( on Amazon and on Amazon.com ) is now out. Giles blogs at www.thenatureofbusiness.org, facebook community https://www.facebook.com/businessinspiredbynature and tweets @gileshutchins
The Illusion of Separation – Contrary to popular opinion, capitalist consumerism is not the problem. Rather, it is a downstream effect of a deeper malaise woven deep into our cultural psyche at partly unconscious levels. The source of our current social, economic and environmental ills springs from inherent flaws in how we perceive and construct the world we live in. The Illusion of Separation takes us on an exploration of the root causes of our multiple ills so that we can breakthrough into reality beyond illusion. Moving to a new society and a new consciousness inspired by and in harmony with Nature. Listen to the podcasts to learn more: http://bit.ly/1Gj31TL and see the infographic here: http://visual.ly/illusion-separation-infographic
Business strategist, Peter Senge, notes that our world today is shaped not by individuals alone but by networks of businesses and institutions, and that these organisations are currently grounded in an old logic which needs to radically shift for the times we now live in.
New horizons are created through new ways of thinking, perceiving and attending to ourselves, each other and wider life – it is up to the individuals within these organisations to co-create a new logic. This shift in logic is what Senge says is the biggest challenge facing organisational management and leadership today. Without this radical shift in thinking we will be unable to transform successfully towards a sustainable future; in other words, we will utterly fail in our evolution.
The logic of yesterday is of top-down, hierarchic, command-and-control, risk-adverse, competition-oriented, short-termed maximisation, control-based thinking best suited to the Industrial Age. It is a mechanistic worldview based on reductionist logic that fragments reality into abstract definitions, silo’s and objects to be quantified, measured, controlled and then maximised, while largely over-looking the interrelated, fluid, connective, collaborative, participatory nature of Nature.
In drawing inspiration from Nature, we may step beyond our narrowed-down view of life and re-cognise the intrinsic patterns and reciprocal relations in our midst. These patterns can often seem confusing or complex for our reductionist mind, yet for our intuitive logic they are quite natural to cohere with – we are, after all, part of Nature. Such patterns and flows are, by their nature, regenerative and sustainable. In applying this inherent logic of life, we no longer need to superficially bolt-on sustainability initiatives to unsustainable modus operandi. In going with the flow of Nature, we re-design for resilience, ensuing sustainability – in all sense of the word – is ingrained in how we operate and innovate.
For Senge, creative orientation is what facilitates our shift beyond yesterday’s flawed logic. Creative orientation helps us address our many practical problems as opportunities for transformation, rather than risks to be mitigated or problems to be worked-around. Real life challenges are what afford us the opportunities to transform to more resilient ways of operating. Through humility, openness and playfulness, creative orientation brings a radically different mind-set beyond the hyper-competitive, quantised linearity of old. It is a ‘learning-through-doing’ approach to prototyping by collaborating amongst diverse stakeholders. Here, future outcomes are beyond pre-definition: it is the co-learning journey rather than the pre-defined destination that brings transformative value to the organisation and wider ecosystem of partners involved; real benefits beyond ‘doing less bad’. This approach to business walks-its-own-talk by embracing a living, regenerative, empowering, co-creative, ecological way of being and doing which is aligned with our authentic human nature and deeper Nature.
This fresh (yet ancient) logic enables us to see the richness and value of interrelated business ecosystems, of intra-organisational learning, of diverse stakeholder empowerment, of emergent leadership, of open co-innovation. Linear approaches to supplier and customer management are liberated into vibrant values-led ecosystems which nourish, and are nourished by, their own co-creativity. Company ‘IP’ transforms into ‘ecosystem intelligence’ beyond the old methods of privatised control. This may be mind-boggling for today’s minds’ still rooted in yesterday’s logic and it is a radical shift in management and leadership for all aspects of the business whether it be sales and marketing, human resources or supplier and customer management. All change please. And Senge is quick to point out that many organisations are already engaging in ways of behaviour in what he calls ‘life beyond the Bubble’ – life beyond the confining control-based bureaucracies of yesterday. It is what I call living beyond the illusion of separation, because it is an attitude that perceives beyond the self-limiting logic of egotism and individualism.
Intrapreneurs, internal network leaders and community builders across the business of all backgrounds (whether engineering, sales, logistics, etc.) will serve as the catalysts in empowering locally attuned teams of diverse stakeholders to make regenerative business a reality. Hence, the search for such catalysts within the organisation as well as across the partner ecosystem, through new hires and external consultants is an important one. Often external consultants and specialist partners can help shine a light on areas of opportunity that people steeped in the cultural mind-set may need help in seeing. Business schools, activists, social innovators, think-tanks, consultants, change-makers can all help spawn such transformative creative orientations. Such networks will benefit from social media and collaboration technologies in helping co-innovate a bright future for business – the way Nature intended.
Giles Hutchins applies 20 years business experience to a new business logic inspired by and in harmony with Nature. His latest book The Illusion of Separation is now out and you can watch a short video about it here.
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We are now settling into 2015 – transformational times no less which quite naturally invoke a feeling of trepidation. Tectonic shifts in our socio-economic models, strategic and operational management and leadership development are metamorphosing our prevalent paradigm into something as different in look and feel as a butterfly is from a caterpillar.
In the early stages of a pupa’s metamorphosis, cells quite different from the caterpillar organise into groups. These ‘imaginal cells’ run up again the opposition of the old caterpillar’s immune system which perceives them as a threat to the caterpillar’s existence. Over time, as the system of the old caterpillar begins to breakdown, these new formations spawn forth the structures, processes and logic of the butterfly; ditto for the metamorphosis in our midst.
We know an era is ending and a new one being conceived when the fundamental assumptions and illusions of the old worldview are exhausted by their inability to deal with the challenges of the day. Yesterday’s logic understands Nature as purposeless, devoid of meaning and consciousness. This materialism creates an illusion of separation which underpins our cultural tendency towards short-termist profiteering, control-based silo’ed thinking, and divide-and-rule behaviour; what Gregory Bateson calls a paradigm for extinction. In short, we have become inured by a corrupting logic that undermines our very evolution.
The good news is that through recent discoveries in quantum science, depth psychology, neuroscience, facilitation ecology and many other fields of research, this out-dated logic is now breaking down, giving way to a fresh yet ancient logic inspired by Nature. Rather than viewing life as mechanistic with humans separate from and in competition with life, we are opening up to a deeper perspective of life as innately conscious, participatory and sacred. Yet, as economist Joseph Gustav Speth warns us, proposals for transforming our systemic logic will be derided and, when they gain traction, resisted at every turn, much like the imaginal cells in the early stages of metamorphosis.
Many of today’s organisational pioneers and cultural change agents go unnoticed, catalysing transformation by applying a deeper wisdom beyond illusion – compassion rather than competition, empathy rather than egotism, synchronicity rather than separateness, service rather than selfishness, reciprocity rather than robbery. And this is not new – business finds its origins in value-creation through service provision for its community. Likewise, the roots of Western philosophy and science draw from Nature’s wisdom. For the ancient Greeks, to embody the inherent grammar running throughout life is the ultimate goal of philosophy (the word originating from philia the Greek for ‘love’ and Sophia ‘wisdom’ – to love and embody the wisdom flowing throughout Nature).
And yet many of today’s attempted solutions apply out-dated materialistic and anthropocentric logic without stepping back to question it. If we have any hope of rectifying the error of our ways in 2015, the logic that sets us apart from Nature needs to be put right at its root. The word ‘radical’ originates from radix, the Latin for ‘root’. The paradigm shift now upon us has to deal with the root source of our flawed logic and so be radical – philosophically, scientifically, culturally and economically. Deep and complex influences within our own psyche, our collective consciousness and in the structures pervading our culture are being challenged to radically reshape; at its heart this paradigm shift challenges the very way we view the world and ourselves as embodied within it.
In recognising that we are expressions within Nature and that our own rational and intuitive consciousness is immersed within a deeper field – the ground of our being – we may begin to open our minds to reality beyond the illusion of separation. It is this radical perspective of reality that the great minds of Jung, Einstein, Da Vinci, Confucius and many others understood. As spiritual ecologist Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee explains through his profound work, we are waking up to the awareness of our relationship between our individual soul and the world soul of Nature. In his words, ‘It is only through awakening to an awareness of the sacred within creation, and its relationship to our own sacred nature, that we can begin to redeem the primal imbalance that lies at the root of our present predicament.’
It is this recognition, no less, that will we ensure our solutions are both inspired by AND in harmony with Nature – the only viable future for humanity on Earth. Humanity is collectively on the cusp of evolving this deeper awareness, and each of us has the conscious choice in the days and weeks ahead to courageously embrace our destiny as imaginal cells in this metamorphic undertaking.
You can access a podcast series on this shift in our midst here bit.ly/1Gj31TL
Nature is continually unfolding in a process of transforming what is forming. The Latin root of the word nature is natura which means ‘to give birth’, to creatively become.
This creative reaching beyond present possibilities, circumstances and perceived limitations in order to learn, develop, diversify and evolve, is the dynamic of life.
Foundational to this creative dynamic are inter-relations and the tensions these inter-relations provide; a communing of opposing tensions – the yin/yang of life. For the ancient Chinese, there is no ‘and’ between the yin quality and the yang quality because yin is not separate from yang, rather there is a communing within the cycle of Nature (the circle within which the yin/yang reciprocate). There is no separation only tensions of reciprocity; attuning through yielding and asserting while seeking harmony.
This coherence of yin/yang tensions lies at the heart of T’ai Chi philosophy which aims to embody the wisdom of Nature through the integration of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of life. Every flower and unfolding moment contains this innate wisdom. Every vibration of energy embodies the yin/yang dance of life within the deeper matrix of the Nature. Our own bodyminds and natural awareness is nested within this vast oceanic interplay of receptivity (yin) and responsiveness (yang).
Life is our best teacher, continually unfolding challenges/opportunities for us to dance within this receptive-responsive reciprocity. Sometimes we need a little more receptivity in opening ourselves up to others, sometimes a little more responsiveness. And so challenges can be seen as opportunities to transform our perceptions, patterns of behaviour and mind-sets, so that we can open up and reciprocate with others in a deeper way.
A powerful yet simple illustration of how to bring this co-creative improvisational dance of life alive in both our minds and bodies is to learn to dance with one another in a receptive, responsive, reciprocating way. To begin with, two people might pair up as partners, a short distance apart with legs astride and touching hands. One chooses to be assertive ‘leader’ and the other yielding ‘follower’. At first with a rocking to and fro linear motion, then perhaps transforming into a circular motion, the two move synchronously. A rhythm develops, as with a swinging pendulum, but the movement is dependent on the leader’s self-centred awareness and associated effort, regardless of what the follower may be experiencing. So the movement could not really be called a ‘dance’ in the fullest sense, in which each is equally and vitally involved in partnership. The follower might as well not be there: if the leader is tired, the movement will be tired; if the leader is full of energy, the movement will be energetic, but creatively restricted and fatiguing. If at some stage, however, the leader becomes sensitive to the movement of the follower and attunes to this so as to ‘follow the follower’, the result is a mutual effortlessness where each is alive within the influence of the other. Both co-create without a pre-defined trajectory and so improvise in a continually innovative way.
To flow in such an open, mutually inclusive way requires an attuning of our mental and bodily awareness both to each other and the co-evolving movement. Correspondingly, the dance itself responds to our ever changing receptive-responsive dynamic. If, for example, while we are dancing co-creatively – with neither trying to lead and both following the communing flow – one partner becomes more assertive, the other may respond either by becoming more yielding or by becoming more resistive. The dance either loses is co-creative fluidity or it becomes tense and jerky. By the same token, if both partners remain passive, the dance won’t happen at all.
Yang characteristics Yin characteristics
(source – Pioneering the Possible, Scilla Elsworthy)
Rather than an overly-yang, overly-competitive way of attending to life, whereupon we perceive life as a struggle of each against other, by learning to attune our yin-yang dynamic we begin to see life as an improvisational process of each naturally included in the other’s co-creative influence. We move forward, learn and evolve through our responsive ambition and receptive ability to flex, attune and reciprocate within an ever-changing improvisational dance of natural energy flow.
‘When male and female combine,
All things achieve harmony.’ Lao Tzu
The word harmony has its root in the Greek harmonia meaning ‘to fit together’. Diverse influences integrate in a way that creates the harmonious ‘music of life’ – a pleasant attunement of differences. The rhythm and resonance these harmonising tensions provide invoke the experience of beauty within us. And so we can understand that the creation of life’s beauty is through the dynamic communing of reciprocal influences. It is life’s challenges that provide the opportunities for us to develop, diversify and become more than we are.
Ultimately, all of life and evolution is a co-creative dance of inter-relational tensions. We may discover that the trick to finding attunement within the dance is in getting to know oneself by exploring the interior attunement of our being and the inner-outer dynamic of our daily life. By becoming ever-more conversant with the soulful, spiritual, mental, emotional and physiological aspects of our selves, we learn to refine our dance through learning more about our selves. As we attune, we allow our creative potential to flow through all that we do; synchronicity flows and we become ones in communion within the dance, not ones singularly at odds with other; we attune with spirit, soul, Tao, Nature. As the poet Rumi noted, ‘I am the flute, but the music is thine.’
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Quantum scientists are now confirming the existence of an all-pervasive presence which is everywhere, permeating everything; a spacious presence flowing throughout reality from which energy and matter are birthed. Scientists call this the quantum vacuum, zero-point energy, bio-force or life-force energy and it is the same phenomenon as what the ancient mystics, seers, shamans, philosophers and prophets have long spoken of: Akasha, Tao, Shekinah, Divine Ground, Motherly Space, etc.
‘The true ground of all being is the infinite, intangible, spirit that infuses all living beings’ David Bohm
Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch and others have referred to this all-pervasive field as an underlying sea of quantum light, from which all matter and energy originates. Like crests of waves emerge from the ocean, electromagnetic energy projects within our space-time dimension from this oceanic all-pervasive presence.
Our creation, as we perceive it, is formed from charged, polarised energy projecting particle-like from the uncharged background sea of quantum energy.
This quantum vision of reality transforms everything we knew of life and enables us to explain the inter-relatedness of life we may sometimes intuit.
This all-pervasive underlying grammar of Nature has been explained in esoteric ways by all major religions as the primordial pattern of creation. Ancient mythology explains that the original Logos or Word or eternal OM is a primordial vibration from which diversity of all forms and patterns within creation evolve.
This all-pervasive primordial vibration creates a vortex motion, which in three-dimensional space is referred to as the ‘seed of life’, which creates the ‘egg of life’ the basis of all music and all vibrational harmonies, which then creates all energy systems in Nature, for instance the cell embryonic divisions in our own bodies.
As the ‘egg of life’ develops further it produces the ‘flower of life’ from which is revealed the ‘fruit of life’ which contains the long revered, Metatron’s Cube. This is often deemed the most sacred of structures, consisting of thirteen interlaced spheres – thirteen informational systems – containing the Platonic Solids (the 3-dimensional polyhedron shapes of the cube, icosahedron, tetrahedron, octahedron and dodecahedron). These energy systems can be found in all levels of creation ranging from water crystals, plant growth, DNA, our human bodies and the formation of galaxies.
The great Renaissance genius of the 15th century, Leonardo Da Vinci, used the flower of life in many of his pioneering inventions.
At the turn of the 17th century mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler made reference to these ancient geometric shapes in his astronomy of the solar system, which he saw as exemplifying the attunement of the physical and spiritual dimensions of reality. Also the 20th century inventor Buckminster Fuller made reference to these geometric patterns and concepts in his ‘synergistic’ worldview. Yet knowledge of these ancient geometric shapes spans back to Plato, to Pythagoras, to the ancient Magi alchemists and Druidic Celts and further back to the old Religions of Tantra and Shamanism.
The ancient images of the ‘flower of life’ have been found throughout the world, for instance, in the temples in Egypt and at ancient sacred sites in Assyria, India, China, Mesoamerican Maya and also in European Celtic art.
It is as if there is an inherent wisdom contained within life that the ancients knew of and which our recent scientific endeavours are starting to uncover – a primordial vibratory field, a music of the spheres, Musica universalis. This is the sacred Song of Nature which we are all immersed, and participate, within.
Such ‘sacred geometry’ can be applied within the design of sacred buildings in order to help our attunement with the divine. For instance, medieval stain-glass windows, wooden or stone bosses on ceilings and handrails, intricate arches, altar and chancel screens, and so on. The architects, masons and knights of medieval times were aware of the deeper wisdom such patterns imbued. With modern neuroscience, we now recognise that such patterns and forms encourage a coherence of our left-brain and right-brain hemispheres along with an entrainment of our heads and hearts. This allows for a deeper contemplative receptivity within our bodyminds, and so aiding our attunement with the inherent wisdom flowing all around and within us. Much of this sacred knowledge has been overlooked in our consumerist materialism, but it is always here, never lost.
‘This divine ground is within and all around us. We need to create a sanctuary within ourselves to listen to its guidance’ Anne Baring
The good news is that we do not need to be philosophically or esoterically inclined to attune with this ground of all being. All we need to do is to open ourselves up to our natural awareness, freed from our ego-chatter. It is through the presencing of life, uncluttered from our habituations and pre-occupations of past and future, that we allow the deeper wisdom of life to come through us and enrich our perceptions, intuition and insight.
Every blade of grass and flower has this intrinsic wisdom. Likewise within us at partly unconscious levels flows this ancient, intuitive consciousness. It is everywhere, the all-pervasive primordial consciousness flowing within every evolving moment; to re-cognise this is to awaken to the awe-inspiring reality of our role as conscious co-creators within this participatory evolution of life.
‘To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour’ – William Blake
The underlying ‘quantum vacuum’ with its immense vibratory wisdom is the underlying Dance of Life – the animating principle pervading the universe out of which the un-manifest becomes manifest.
The ancient and timeless Tantric and Shamanic traditions speak of the engulfing cosmic womb (or ‘yoni’) which gives birth to the manifest upon conception with the conscious spark of energy potential (or ‘lingam’). This is the sacred masculine of our psychic quicksilver fertilising the Divine Feminine, the ground of our being (or ‘anima mundi’).
Learning to attune our every-day awareness and creative potential within this deeper soulful consciousness allows for a conscious awakening of this ancient wisdom whereupon we harmonise within the soulful depths of Nature – true sustainability.
With our attention and intention we can align ourselves to the vortex of our true nature, right here, right now, allowing our bodyminds to attune with the pulsation of our souls nested within the pulsation of Nature’s Soul within the deeper cosmic soul.
Like yin-yang, our consciousness and the underlying Dance of Life are inseparable yet attuning; the dancer and the dance. To attune with this inherent wisdom – what the ancient Greeks referred to as Sophia – is the beginning of authenticity, spawning right thought, word and deed – the source of Truth. To perceive this harmonisation within Nature is a very human quality. It is very much of this world, of this moment and our bodies and senses are alchemic vessels that concoct and co-create with this Song of Nature in order to realise our destiny as fully actualised wise beings (Homo sapiens).
These transformational times beckon us to wake up to this Song of Songs, through our passionate, compassionate, loving embrace of our self-Self, self-other, self-Nature interrelations. As we open up to this primordial wisdom of Love, we begin to realise that the awakening of self comes with the awakening of others, a collective humanitarian shift in consciousness no less.
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Here is a link to a short video of a talk I gave in London recently.